CADIZ City Mayor Salvador Escalante is appealing to fast track the release of the swab test results for Covid-19 so that local government units could save.
Escalante said the release of swab test results is still slow, from 12 to 25 days at Teresita Jalandoni Provincial Hospital.
Escalante said Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson, in a meeting with the mayors through Zoom, assured that the release of the results would only take a maximum of five days.
However, Escalante said per confirmation of City Health Officer Dr. Victoria Ibanez, the swab results still take an average of 12 days.
Escalante pointed out that the locally stranded individuals (LSIs) cannot be released from the city's quarantine facilities without getting first the result of their swab test.
The longer they stay at the quarantine facilities, the more expense it will be for the City Government because their food and other needs are provided by the city.
"The city is providing for their food, security detail, manpower, utilities and upkeep of the place at the cost of at least P800 a day per LSI multiplied to their number and the number of days they stay at the facility while waiting for the result of the swab test," Escalante explained.
"We are struggling on how to contain LSIs and OFWs (overseas Filipino Workers)," Escalante explained.
He further revealed that there is already local transmission of Covid-19 in the city after an Authorized Person Outside Residence (Apor), who tested positive for Covid-19, was believed to have infected his own mother who was also positiv for the virus. Both are asymptomatic, Escalante said.
As of Thursday, Cadiz City has 11 Covid-19 positive cases.
In a related development, Escalante revealed that the city is also eyeing of putting up a molecular laboratory in the city in partnership with a private partner where the city could possibly provide the place for the laboratory, while the building and operation are provided and run by the private partner.
The city is eyeing to save P25 million a year.
"This will decongest the Teresita Jaladoni Provincial Hospital and we will invite neighboring LGUs (local government units) from San Carlos to E.B. Magalona to have their swab samples tested at the city's laboratory," Escalante added.